Dangerous things you do every day -- and should stop immediately

Aug 31, 2010 at 7:34 a.m. ET

Don't compromise your safety as a woman. Here are five dangerous things you do every day that you need to stop doing now!

Woman on cell phone at night

1STOP letting your inebriated friends go off by themselves.

Whether your drunk bestie wants to go home with a random guy or simply teeter off to the bathroom at a bar, don't let her go alone. Trinka Porrata, a 25-year veteran of the LAPD and current volunteer with Mesa Police Department, says, "When it comes to your girlfriends, really watch each others' backs."

2STOP multi-tasking.

If you are headed to your car late at night, stay focused. Make sure you have keys in hand and your phone out in case you need to make an emergency call. Walk confidently with your head up, and be aware of your surroundings. If a predator is lurking, he may view a distracted woman digging in her purse as the perfect victim.

3STOP leaving your doors unlocked.

Gone are the days when neighbors could trust one another to run over to the other's house to unplug coffee pots, says Porrata, who grew up in a town where people left their doors unlocked all the time. When you are in your home alone, especially at night, lock your doors and windows -- and do the same when you go out.

4STOP oversharing on the Internet.

With the popularity of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, anyone in the world can find out what you are doing (and where you are!) at any given moment. Scary. Be careful what you share via social media, and don't trust someone you met over the Internet, even if you've been "talking" for a while.

5STOP accepting drinks from strangers.

If a stranger sends over a drink straight from the bartender, you're probably OK. If a random guy approaches you and offers you a drink, however, take heed. Porrata adds, "If it tastes funny, don't drink it!"

How to fight back

Self defense tips for women

Here are a few simple moves and suggestions to fight off, scare and startle an attacker, and give yourself a chance to get away.

More ways to protect yourself: